One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

Here is a little bit of sewing magic for you. I am going to show you how to make a cute little gift bag out of just one fat quarter, and nothing else! Yup!

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

This little bag has 2 pockets on the outside – one for a little gift card; and one for a little something extra like a note or a little chocolate. ;) Inside it is big enough for a small gift. If you’re making this for a fellow sewist, note that it happens to fit a charm pack perfectly!

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

Are you ready to begin?


    one fat quarter
    …and of course your general sewing supplies

All seam allowances are ¼” unless otherwise noted.

First, press your fat quarter well.

Trim the selvedge or edge from your fat quarter. I like to keep my selvedges so the part I have trimmed off is a little wider than usual. 

Lay your fat quarter out on the table.

Fold your bottom corner up to the top edge. {This will make a nice even square for your bag portion.}

Cut the excess strip from the folded triangle. This will be the bag handle.

Now we’re going to make the bag handle just like we’d make bias tape. Iron the bag handle in half, with wrong sides together.

Open the handle back out.

Fold both edges in toward the centre and press.

Fold the strip in half and press. Ready to sew!

Sew down the open edge of the handle, with a seam allowance of about 1/8″. The bag handle is done! Set it aside while we make the bag.

Lay your fat quarter on the table right side up. Fold it in half, and then sew along both short edges.

Next, lay your rectangle on the table with the sewn short edges at the top and bottom and the opening to the right. Now we want to open it into a square shape. You do this by taking the top piece from the right open edge and pulling it toward the left. Keep pulling it open until the raw edges meet in the middle on a horizontal axis and your top and bottom seams lay vertically across the middle. You should see a diamond shape. I have made an animated gif to illustrate this step. {Below.}

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

Press the seams you sewed in step 11 in opposite directions.

Now we are going to prepare to sew the open edge. Place the centre seams together and pin in place.

Beginning at the centre seam, sew until you reach the edge.

Flip your piece around and sew from the centre seam to the other edge, leaving a gap of about 3 inches for turning.

Press your piece into a nice square shape, pressing the seams flat as you go.

Clip the corners and turn out the right way. Press flat into a nice square shape. Your seams will form an ‘X’ in the centre.

Place your bag piece on the table in a diamond shape, with the gap that was left for turning on the right hand side. {I have put my scissors in the gap so that you can see where it is.} We are not going to sew this gap closed as it will be hidden in the next step.

Take the right corner of the diamond and bring it to the middle. Align the edge with the centre seam. Your bag piece will look like half of a kite. :) Press in place.

Now grab your bag handle prepared earlier and place it under the fold, lining it up with the fold line. Place it about 3″ or so in. You can place it further out to have a longer bag handle but don’t place it any further in as your bag handle will be too short.

Pin the end of your handle in place, at the end of the handle and at least 1/2″ away from the centre fold line. {You don’t want to sew over the pin!}

Now we are going to sew! The rest of the seams on the bag are sewn on the outside, so all of your stitching will be visible. This can make a nice feature if you choose a nice coloured thread…

…and a decorative stitch. Ok, this is only a zig zag, but if you look at some of the other bags I’ve made you can see some of the decorative stitches I’ve used and how they add a special little somethin’ somethin’. 

Sew the right side in place by sewing to the right of the centre fold, sewing your bag handle in place as you go. This will make one pocket for your gift bag! {Leave your pin in place.}

Now place your bag piece bag on the table with the sewn side to the right. Fold the other side of the bag piece to the middle, as in step 20, but this time in the opposite direction. You will end up with a rhomboid shape.  Press in place.

Now we are going to pin the other side of the bag handle into the opposite fold. Pull your handle up, and, making sure not to twist it, slide it under the opposite edge along the fold line and pin in place, as in step 21. I’ve made another animated gif for you to hopefully show you this step a little better. {Below}

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

Sew the left hand side fold down along the centre line, just as you did for the other side in step 25. The bag handle is now in place, and both your pockets are sewn. Only a few more steps to go!

Place the bag with the pockets side down on the table. Flip the handle out so it is on the top side.

Pull the handle upwards and make a bag! Make the sides as even as possible by checking that the top triangle shapes are equal sizes.

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

Now you want to reposition your pins so that they hold the bag edges together and the end of the bag handle in place. {I find this a little difficult to explain.} The pins that are holding your bag handle ends in place will be on the inside. Take the pin out with one hand while holding the enclosed bag handle end with the other hand. Replace the pin in the same spot, but on the outside of your bag. We want to keep that handle end from shifting, as well as give it extra strength when we sew over it.

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

Are you still with me? Guess what – LAST STEP!! Complete your bag by sewing up each side, stopping at the top of the pockets. You. Are. Done. See, I told you it was easy. 

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

Now that you’ve made one from a fat quarter, you will easily be able to make one from any sized fabric you like. I made a bag out of a yard of fabric as a gift bag for my sister, who’s just had a baby girl!

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

If you do make a different size, just be sure to have one square of fabric for the bag, and a strip the same length as the square for your handle. 

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

Other adjustments you can make:
- You can sew one or both of the pockets closed if you’d rather not have pockets. This would be done in steps 25 and 28.
- Instead of making the stitching a feature, you could sew a trim or ribbon on as you complete the topstitching.
- To make your bag more sturdy, you could first iron some light fusible interfacing to your fabric. The smaller bags don’t really need it, but it would work well with larger sized bags.

Hope you have fun making your own little bags! They are a great earth-friendly way to package your gifts, and they look darn cute to boot.

One Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial

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  1. Ohh what a glorious tutorial!! This is sew genius!! I can’t wait to make one. Thank you for all your sewing tutorials! I’ve followed you for years and love your sewing expertise!!

  2. if you ever do a video tutorial I would love to watch ..i do better with visual and this looks so darn cute .. thank you